|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:6-14 Here is a description of the spirit and way of worldly people. A man may have wealth, and may have his heart enlarged in love, thankfulness, and obedience, and may do good with it. Therefore it is not men's having riches that proves them to be worldly, but their setting their hearts upon them as the best things. Worldly men have only some floating thoughts of the things of God, while their fixed thoughts, their inward thoughts, are about the world; that lies nearest the heart. But with all their wealth they cannot save the life of the dearest friend they have. This looks further, to the eternal redemption to be wrought out by the Messiah. The redemption of the soul shall cost very dear; but, being once wrought, it shall never need to be repeated. And he, the Redeemer, shall rise again before he sees corruption, and then shall live for evermore, Re 1:18. This likewise shows the folly of worldly people, who sell their souls for that which will never buy them. With all their wealth they cannot secure themselves from the stroke of death. Yet one generation after another applaud their maxims; and the character of a fool, as drawn by heavenly Wisdom itself, Lu 12:16-21, continues to be followed even among professed Christians. Death will ask the proud sinner, Where is thy wealth, thy pomp? And in the morning of the resurrection, when all that sleep in the dust shall awake, the upright shall be advanced to the highest honour, when the wicked shall be filled with everlasting shame and contempt, Da 12:2. Let us now judge of things as they will appear in that day. The beauty of holiness is that alone which the grave cannot touch, or damage.
Verse 9. - That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. This verse is to be closely connected with ver. 7, ver. 8 being parenthetical It describes the effect which the payment of a ransom by the rich, were it possible, might be expected to have.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That he should still live for ever,.... Or "though he should live", &c. (w). Though the rich man should live ever so long, a thousand years twice told, as in Ecclesiastes 6:6; yet he could not in all this time, with all his riches, redeem his brother; and at last must die himself, and so must his brother too, as his own experience and observation may assure him, Psalm 49:10. Or the meaning is, he cannot so redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him, that he should live a corporeal life for ever, and never die; since all men die, wise men and fools, rich and poor; and much less that he should live and enjoy an "eternal life", as the Targum; a life of happiness and bliss hereafter, which is not to be obtained by gold and silver, but is the pure gift of God;
and not see corruption; the grave, the pit of corruption, the house appointed for all living: or "the judgment of hell", according to the Chaldee paraphrase.
(w) "etiamsi vivat", Gejerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. corruption—literally, "pit," or, "grave," thus showing that "soul" is used for "life" [Ps 49:8].
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